Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

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Planning a wedding rehearsal dinner can seem overwhelming in conjunction with everything else you are organizing. This is a page about wedding rehearsal dinner ideas.
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April 1, 2013

I recently attended the wedding rehearsal dinner of my niece that was so wonderful. They had put up a big-screen TV and played a musical show made with pictures of the couple's dating days.

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January 23, 2018

Can any suggest cheap ideas for a wedding dinner?

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January 23, 20180 found this helpful
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Chicken is less expensive than beef or fish.
Pasta is inexpensive, too. You might want to have various green salads, different kinds of pastas, and a couple chicken choices.

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January 23, 20180 found this helpful
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We were on a budget and found pasta, whole chickens (instead of breasts), and chunky salads to be very helpful. We also did appetizers like bruschetta and fruit which were filling but awesome.

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January 23, 20181 found this helpful
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For protein, chicken would be the cheapest option. You could also so pastas, soups, hams, salads, bruschetta/crostini, goat cheese stuffed dates, and so forth.

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Lots on the internet for ideas. Type cheap entrees, cheap appetizers

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January 25, 20180 found this helpful
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If it was my wedding, I think I'd opt for a "very veggie" menu. Lots of salads & bean dishes, deviled eggs, fresh-baked breads with salsas, dips, hummus etc. You might consider an "all finger food" menu too. Chicken wings, bite-size pizza squares, meatballs, fondue & bread dippers, mini egg rolls etc etc. There's lots of ways to be creative & healthy without spending an arm and a leg. Takes a bit of research or a very health-minded & creative caterer, but these folks are out there. Another idea? One of my cousins had one of the most memorable wedding receptions I've ever attended - she opted for a catered picnic.

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Hot dogs, burgers, Italian sausage, barbecued chickens & ribs plus salads, beans, rolls, pickles, cold vegetables & casual desserts like brownies & cookies. I don't remember a wedding cake but one could certainly have that too. Everyone either went home to change into comfy picnic clothes after the ceremony or changed at the site. A TON of fun! No worries about spilling something on an expensive outfit or wiping out on the dance floor in heels etc. Our family is still talking about it & the couple just celebrated their silver wedding this year!

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January 29, 20180 found this helpful
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Nothing that will slop, splosh, spill or stain clothing. Pasta with any kind of red sauce should be off the menu.

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Some have suggested veggies and you can't do better. I did my sisters revow and had finger sandwiches with the crust cut off (saved for Thanksgiving of course). I also made parfaits in clear plastic glasses, with a pasta salad and a turkey tetrazzini for hot food. Keep it simple, and invest in either nice dishes or at least sturdy plastic/dinner ware.

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April 10, 2011

Any ideas for a rehearsal dinner for 50? The bride's parents are having a $20 a plate wedding for 300 people. I hate to look too cheap, but I am on a budget! (It is a summer wedding.)

By Jilly from WI

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April 10, 20110 found this helpful

Why have so many, most of the weddings I am familiar with, it is just the bride/groom/attendants, and family. Spouses aren't even included.

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April 11, 20110 found this helpful

Look up large quantity recipes, growlies for groups. This website has over 500 make ahead or large quantity recipes and lots of self catering tips. I used this website extensively in making ahead lots of recipes for my daughters wedding.

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It turned out beautifully!! There is also tables on this website to tell you how much of an item you need to feed xx amount of people. I hope this helps!

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

What is the weather like for you at that time of year? If it's pleasant, why not have an old-fashioned bar-b-que? As weddings can be stressful, you can do something that is fun and relaxing.

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

If you can it is usually best to have a Rehearsal Dinner that is casual. Many times the families are meeting for the first time,and a casual atmosphere is less intimidating and allows everyone to relax and have fun. A picnic or Barbeque is probably your best bet for a nice dinner that is more affordable.

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Limit the proteins and serve a lot of salads and vegetables and fruit. and serve the grooms cake for dessert. Many times a novelty Grooms cake just sort of gets lost at the wedding day reception. And sometimes the funky look sort of ruins that presentation if it is a formal affair. And most importantly, remember if you have fun, all of your quests will, too.

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

I am also hosting a rehearsal dinner for 40 in the summer at my church building. My brother is making the homemade bar-b-q. I am getting the plates, napkins, cups, tablecloths & serving dishes at a local Dollar Tree store. I'll get the potato salad, coleslaw and big cake for dessert at Sam's Club. These ideas should help keep my costs down. I plan to make this rehearsal dinner a fun occasion for all.

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

I would suggest doing a spiral ham and a turkey breast or chicken salad with and assortment of rolls and potato/pasta salad and cole slaw/salad. This is a great casual idea that I'm sure everyone would enjoy and you could really do a great pic nic theme!

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

We did mostly finger foods at my daughter's August wedding. We had a large (20.00) shrimp cocktail, ham and cheese rolls, turkey rolls, veggie platter, fruit platter, chips and dips and assorted canned drinks. Everyone found something they liked and it was inexpensive.
Good luck to you and the future "Mr".

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January 27, 2012

Instead of a rehearsal dinner I thought we could have all the family members and wedding party for the meal after the wedding rehearsal. Between the 2 families, if everyone came it would 80 people then add in the pastor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and maybe dates if they have one.

I am looking for a catered meal for 80 to 100 people that will not cost me an arm and a leg. We were looking at BBQ thinking that would be the least expensive, but I am open to suggestions. The wedding is in July, but I like to plan ahead.
Thanks for your help.

By Ginnie C

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January 27, 20120 found this helpful

The rehearsal dinners that I have heard of are strictly for close family members and participants in the wedding. No dates allowed. You could serve sloppy joes, and various salads. Or else make it pot luck with the closest family members bring dishes to pass.

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My groom and I are paying for every aspect of out wedding. So we are a little strapped for cash when it comes to the rehearsal dinner. I was going to have sandwiches or something at the house.

But we live with members of his family in a cramped house and some of our friends and my family don't feel comfortable at the house. Does anyone have a good idea for what to do in my situation?

By Bridge from Bucks County, PA

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March 10, 20100 found this helpful

If this is in the spring, summer, early fall make reservations for a certain area of a nice park and have a picnic. You could set up things like volley ball, etc. for entertainment. Most cities don't charge for using a park, or if so it is minimal.

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March 10, 20100 found this helpful

My sisters prepared our rehearsal dinner in the church fellowship hall. We had ham salad and chicken salad sandwiches with vegetables and fruit. I'm sure they had pie and desserts, also. It's been 42 years ago! Other places that might be available for little or no charge would be senior citizens halls (some are really nice for events), bowling alley (you provide some snacks and everyone pays for their games and drinks), legion hall, Knights of Columbus halls, etc. We are doing a pizza dinner in an historic house. We are preparing everything but the pizza. Hope this helped!

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for the ideas.

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Check with your parks and recreation department. Many parks have covered pavilians that you can get for free or little to nothing. Depending on the time you can get brisket for cheap and cook it and prepare it ahead. Take care w/sandwiches as cost can sometimes be much higher than chicken or brisket or ham. You could provide the meat and ask family to bring the sides desserts drinks, etc.

As far as the wedding goes, check thrift stores for wedding dresses. One near me must have had a bridal salon donate all of their inventory and there were bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses all for less than $100. My oldest wanted a small wedding. She had her husband to be found a double decker party boat for a song. We had brisket, ham, salad bar w/pasta salad, slaw, 5 bean salad, etc. Beans and bread. The boat was limited to 70. I found small lanterns that held votives for the tables. People changed and swam in the lake for a lot of fun.

My youngest daughter we did a family meal in the back yard as his mother was from out of state. We booked and outdoor facility on a Sunday afternoon for the wedding. Cut the cost by almost 50%. Was cheaper to have them cater and get the facility than to rent the facility and cater myself.

For flowers we purchased the first wedding from Sam's club, the second wedding, our grocery store floral department gave us the best price on the flowers my daughter wanted.

Another way to cut cost is to ask friends if they have access to facilities at a low cost, ie neighborhood association community center, military chapel, pavilion. Also, ask friend about decorations they might have. I bought white tablecloth material on the bolt for $1/yard, white golf tees and used this for aisle runner for wedding. golf tees anchored it to the ground. Used for 2 weddings, then separated later (after washing) and hemmed and gave to daughters for wedding memento.

We also cut bamboo from neighbors yard (w/permission) and used for greenery. Anyway, did each wedding for $3,000 dresses included. People still come up and talk about how much fun they had and how nice the weddings were. If you want to use live flowers on cakes check out edible flowers to make sure what you want to use is not toxic.

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November 3, 2011

My wedding is in the spring and I have no idea what to do for my rehearsal dinner. I live in Maine so the springtime gets very muddy we are also on a very tight budget :/ Help please!

By Beth S.

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November 3, 20110 found this helpful

Make the rehearsal dinner a pot luck. Have it at somebody's home, even if it is in a garage. Borrow folding tables and chairs or picnic tables. Also limit the people that will be attending. Just the attendents and the brides and grooms parents. I know some people that include spouses/significant others of the bridal party, kids, etc. With a pot luck you wouldn't really need any decorations and the cost would be minimal.

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

Reserve tables at a nice restaurant and invite the guests.

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November 5, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Beth, I too live in Maine and hear what you are saying. My sister had a cook-out. Nothing fancy, hot dogs, hamburgs, potato salad etc. very casual. I actually toyed with the idea of having mine at a well known truck stop, the food is great and its very casual. Are there any smaller Mom & Pop restaurants that would work with you? Go to Sams club and buy lasagna, salad & rolls and have it at your house. Last suggestion: Pizza in or out! Best wishes to you & the groom.

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October 5, 2013

My son will be getting married in early May 2014. He lives on the coast of South Carolina and wants to have a BBQ meal. What type of decorations would be appropriate for a rustic marina type facility right on the water that would be informal yet still present that "wow" factor without breaking the budget?

By Carole

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October 30, 2013

This page is about luau wedding rehearsal ideas. A Hawaiian theme gives you wonderful tropical floral decorating and refreshment ideas.

Girl dressed for a luau.

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April 10, 2011

How can I plan a cheap wedding rehearsal dinner?

Weddingplannersis from Cinncinati, OH

Answers:

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

How about a southern style dinner : cornbread ,pinto beans and chicken.

By the way in the *related links* column on the right of your post is another thread with rehearsal dinner ideas. (10/01/2006)

By Lilian

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Chicken is cheap. I would find a nice recipe for chicken and then add your favorite veggies, cooked or raw, some cheap rolls and an inexpensive dessert. Coffee, tea and ice water work for drinks. Look through cookbooks to get recipe ideas. (10/01/2006)

By Robin

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

My hubby and I had our rehearsal dinner at our house. We ordered pizza - but buying Papa Murphy's Take and Bake (or something similar) would work. We also got a big decorated cookie from Great American Cookie Co. - had our names and the dates on it. My SIL was at our place during the rehearsal getting things ready which was a huge help.
We weren't aiming for cheap, but it ended up being VERY reasonable - about $175 and we served about 40 people with lots of leftovers.
The biggest plus for us was that all the guests were able to mingle and visit without feeling pressured by time and seating constraints at a restaurant. Everyone appreciated the casual and laid back atmosphere! (10/02/2006)

By Melanie

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Ok maybe we are the most frugal family, but we all brought something for the rehearsal dinner, as in a potluck and it went over really well. Everyone knew the rehearsal was the only time we could all be together without too many "outsiders" so we took advantage of it and had a potluck,sort of like a mini family reunion. Hey, it worked for us and all were fed and nobody complained. (10/02/2006)

By Rosemary

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Before my daughter and husband were married, we had the rehearsal dinner in Donato's party room. We used a few coupons, got 10 pizzas, salad, and drinks for 35 people for just about $200. The pot-luck sounds like fun, too! (10/02/2006)

By Margie M.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

My daughter found a place to serve appetizers and that is what we did had an appetizer party. There were chicken wings, garlic pizza,potato skins, stuff like that Cost was about 200 but depends on what appetizers you choose. About 20 of us. (10/03/2006)

By Mary Ann.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

We did a luau for my brother's rehearsal. We prepared all the food ourselves. My dad BBQ'd several Boston butts Hawaiian style, I prepared fruit salad with a simple honey dressing, pasta salad, Hawaiian rolls, and those mini cream cheese puffs and eclairs from the local cost club for dessert. We got decorations from Oriental Trading Co. for cheap, and it turned out really pretty. Everyone loved it, and we all had a great time. (05/31/2007)

By Rachel

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

For my Daughter's wedding, nothing was said about the Groom's family being responsible for rehearsal dinner, and being overloaded with everything else I decided on an Italian theme. I bought two of the big frozen Lasagnas at Walmart, Fixed a big pot of Spaghetti, (with frozen meatballs).

I bought Garlic rolls, and plain rolls, a HUGE Salad with different Dressings, and an Italian Pasta salad. Deserts were big bowls of Banana, Chocolate and Vanilla puddings and my Daughters favorite Peanut Butter Pie. I decorated with red and black and it was beautiful but SO simple and not a lot of cleanup with paper plates, etc. I think the rehearsal dinner should be fun and not so formal anyway. (06/04/2007)

By Sharon,Ky

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Either hold it potluck-style with family and attendants chipping in their own favorites or buy frozen casseroles and sides for an easy setup. For my own rehearsal dinner in Oct. '07, I purchased frozen lasagna, garlic bread, salad, soda, and cupcakes at Sam's Club for 20 people, and everyone had a great time. (07/19/2008)

By Melody T.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

My sister had a great idea to take everyone bowling. We had pizzas and wings. Adults drank beer and wine while the kids had soda and juice. What a great way to spend time with family. It was the best rehearsal dinner I've attended and so easy and affordable. (12/09/2008)

By Nicole

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March 10, 2010

What would be a fun, nice way to have a rehearsal dinner without breaking the bank?

By patty from Plymouth, MN

Answers:

Cheap Ideas for a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

My favorite rehearsal dinner was one that involved both families and wedding party meeting up after the rehearsal at the local bowling alley. Bride and groom ordered pizza and soda (alcohol was available from bowling alley for purchase by guests if they chose) and because we had such a large group we were able to get cheap per person rates that we all kicked in for. A great time was had by all. (01/05/2010)

By Kristi in Kent

Cheap Ideas for a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

I have been to several that were nicely done yet very simple.

You could try having a cookout if the weather permits. A pizza party could also be fun.
Another inexpensive idea is to have it at your house or a close relatives home and serve something simple. (Spaghetti, garlic bread, a nice salad, and cheesecake for dessert) (01/07/2010)

By lemco

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January 5, 2010

I'm getting married in May '09 and want to get some cheap ideas for our rehearsal dinner. Should I do it at home or should I pay more and go out?

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February 1, 2009

My son is getting married next month, not much time to save any money. I need some advice on cheap ideas for a wedding rehearsal dinner since we are broke.

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